GeekCraft Expo RDU is less than a week away--have you RSVPed to our show May 14 and our music and prize-filled kickoff party May 13?
We had a chance to talk with River Takeda-Capel of RIVTAK, one of our returning exhibitors. She gave us a preview of what she'll have in store and told us all about her cutting-edge fashions, which she creates with fabric rescued from textile factories!
GeekCraft Expo: Your tagline is “handmade recycled.” Can you talk about that?
RIVTAK: All of my items are made from pre-consumer textile remnants that I purchase from local textile factories. That means the fabric is left-over from production and would otherwise be waste, but I source it all responsibly and it's never been used previously, so it's just like new! I also find lots of my materials vintage at flea markets and estate sales.
All of the fabric I make my GeekCraft inventory from has fandom art featured on them. Also, all of the fabric [bundles] I will be selling at GeekCraft were sourced from my days of being a printer operator at Spoonflower in Durham. So I am bringing handmade items and fabric at an extreme discount, making my products affordable and fun to buy, and also responsibly sourced.
I no longer work at Spoonflower, so these items are produced in small batches and are often one-of-a-kind and will not be made again! They make for great unique gifts and I love it when people find exactly what they want.
GCE: What does “geek” mean to you, and how is it reflected in your textiles and pieces?
RIVTAK: Geek to me just means all things from pop culture, including classic science fiction and fantasy inspirations. Geek is reflected in my handmade items through and through. I curate fan art fabric with my practical product development, so customers can find a headband, skirt, kimono, or fabric bundle to inspire with geeky tendencies!
GCE: How did you develop your techniques?
RIVTAK: I've been sewing on a machine since I was in the third grade! I went to Haywood Community College for textiles, studying weaving, dyeing, and screen printing. I started my business in 2007 (this year is my 10th anniversary and I'm celebrating it by quitting my day job and focusing on sewing, selling, and teaching workshops), and I have been practicing my art daily ever since!
GCE: What sparked your interest in kimonos?
RIVTAK: My mom is Japanese, so I've been traveling to Japan my whole life. I love traditional Japanese textiles, and kimonos are such an amazing canvas of wearable art! I love playing with the simple and practical design of kimonos, changing up the shape to make it more like a robe or a jacket at times.
GCE: What are your design influences?
RIVTAK: Pop-culture memes, '80s sci-fi, ancient Japanese textiles and processes, and my own personal style, which is self-described at bohemian Maximalist, since I love surrounding myself with unique and exotic art and home goods. I am also inspired by my fellow makers in the community around me! I love buying and trading with the other vendors at all the events I do.
GCE: How was your experience at last year’s GeekCraft Expo RDU?
RIVTAK: I had so much fun at last year's event that I just had to come back. I have sold at a number of weekend-long comic cons, but I love how this event is focused on the makers and that it's free to the public!
GCE: What types of things will you bring this year?
RIVTAK: I will have my standard geeky products: tapestries, headbands, patches and clothing.
Our thanks go out to River Takeda-Capel for chatting with us. We'll see you at GeekCraft Expo RDUGeekCraft Expo RDU this weekend!